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coaching, counselling and training in Worthing (UK) and online with Pat Spink

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vulnerability

Success – on whose terms?

I’ve been thinking about this quite a bit lately.

The stories we tell ourselves about our own lives….

What we say, how we ‘report’ our lives, when we speak to people we haven’t seen for a while and they ask us what we’re up to these days…

Does it feel like we have to ‘put on a show’ and that we’re in a competition that we’re losing more often than not..?

For example, what do we say when someone asks “What did you get up to this weekend?” Have you ever been tempted to ‘guild the lily’ a little to appear more active and interesting than you think the truth might sound? I know I have… face-with-tears-of-joy_1f602

And what does success in one area of our life cost us in another?

Hence some of my recent Instagram posts:

success - what did you have to give upstrengths presupposes energy channeled from other areas

Continue reading “Success – on whose terms?”

I’m so happy for you… (or am I?!)

Why is it sometimes so hard for us to feel genuinely happy for other people in our lives when they achieve success or something really lovely or lucky happens for them?

Do we smile, but through gritted teeth?

adult-attraction-background-1322157 (1).jpgHow do we feel when we look at this photo, for example?

Do we smile along with the person in it?

Or think she might be showing off?

Or wonder if she wants to ‘rub it in’ that she can afford the money and the time to be where she is, having fun, and we can’t?

In my experience, envy or jealousy doesn’t happen every time – but sometimes it does…

And what does it say about us if we feel a twinge?

Does that mean that we’re a bad person?

Or does it just mean that we’re human? Continue reading “I’m so happy for you… (or am I?!)”

Finding our way out of the grey…

Back in June I posted this on Instagram:

tunnel and light.png

I really like what Hayley Williams said here.

Despite the substantial progress we’ve made in recent years, I think many of us still struggle with talking about mental illness – which is why we talk about ‘mental health’ instead?

And, like Williams, I think we do tend to polarise the issue – categorising ourselves and others as either completely healthy or sick – but surely there’s a whole lot of space in between these?

Continue reading “Finding our way out of the grey…”

Alone or Lonely?

alone or lonely

On one of my seafront walks recently I noticed someone sitting by themselves on the beach, gazing out to sea – much like the person in the photo here.

Given my particular interest in suicide prevention I needed to make a judgement call as to whether this person seemed in distress and, if so, whether I would approach them. In this case they seemed just fine.

But it started me thinking – they were there alone, perhaps by choice, but maybe not.

Continue reading “Alone or Lonely?”

Appy Days & Restful Nights

apps

I’ve written previously about the negative effects of technology on our lives – but there is good in there, too.

This was highlighted by the ‘Tech4Good’ awards for which Anna Bawden was a judge and about which she wrote recently in theguardian.com.

Amongst these are apps helping people to:

  • communicate and navigate – taking account of particular impairments such as deafness, blindness and partial sight
  • call emergency services if in distress or danger and unable to speak – particularly useful in instances of breathing difficulties, allergies or domestic abuse
  • manage neurological and physical physiotherapy
  • identify and express feelings
  • support mental health recovery

Continue reading “Appy Days & Restful Nights”

She died after losing her battle with cancer…

This was the news this month re Dame Tessa Jowell, a former UK Cabinet Minister.

Almost without exception, the media coverage I heard and read talked about her ‘losing her battle with cancer’ or her ‘brain cancer fight’.

These words bother me.

I’ve wondered for quite a while now whether when we talk about cancer in this way we put pressure on everyone who receives a similar diagnosis to ‘fight’.

And, then, when they do die, the implication seems to be that they’ve somehow ‘lost’ or ‘failed’ – and maybe didn’t try hard enough… Continue reading “She died after losing her battle with cancer…”

Everybody Hurts

It’s that time of year again – my ‘guilty pleasure’ Britain’s Got Talent is back on ITV in the UK. winking-face_1f609

I caught up on the audition stages last week and was incredibly touched by Father Ray Kelly’s rendition of the R.E.M. classic (a 7 minute clip including his introduction to the panel before he sings):

Discerning Disclosure

europe-3256079_1920

How much do you think about, or notice, the information you give other people or organisations – verbally, or in written or electronic form?

Do you know what they know about you or what they do with that information?

This issue has been highlighted in the news recently regarding Facebook and Cambridge Analytica.

Continue reading “Discerning Disclosure”

The Support (We Think) People Want or Need During Difficult Times

“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

Commonly known as ‘The Golden Rule’, versions of this sentiment can be found in many cultures and religious and moral frameworks.

It has a strong humanitarian message and seems to work well in a lot of situations.

However, the underlying assumption is that the treatment or behaviour we want or expect from others is the same as they would want from us – and there’s the rub. Continue reading “The Support (We Think) People Want or Need During Difficult Times”

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